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Kerry sees rekindled EU relationships that are changing global climate dynamics

BRUSSELS – A renewed alliance between the US and the European Union on climate issues could change the dynamics of crucial global talks and encourage China and other major polluters to step up their emissions reduction efforts, said US climate commissioner John Kerry.

The new US administration and the 27-nation bloc are tightening ties in the fight against global warming to signal that key international alliances will be key to the success of a crunch summit in November. Kerry arrived in Brussels on Tuesday and discussed environmentally friendly diplomatic contacts with leading representatives of the European Commission.

Five years since the nations committed themselves in the Paris Agreement to limit global warming and avoid the worst effects of climate change, countries are still far behind on their climate protection promises.

According to the United Nations Emissions Gap Report, the global level of ambition will need to increase between three and five times to reach the deal and try to keep warming below 2 degrees Celsius.

Kerry and the EU climate star Frans Timmermans called on all countries to press ahead with climate protection measures on Tuesday. China, which last year set itself the goal of achieving climate neutrality by 2060, promised only gradual improvements in the short term as part of its new five-year plan.

– Bloomberg News

Klete Keller pleads not guilty to any charges related to the US Capitol uprising

Klete Keller, the Olympic gold medalist’s swimmer charged with participating in the U.S. Capitol riot, pleaded not guilty Tuesday during a hearing in the U.S. District Court in Washington, DC.

A grand jury charged Keller on seven counts last month, including civil unrest, obstruction of official process and disorderly behavior in a restricted building.

Keller videotaped the hearing from his home in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He didn’t say much further, “Hello, he’s fine, thank you” after being introduced to the prosecutor, US assistant attorney Troy Edwards, prior to the brief trial.

Edwards informed Judge Richard J. Leon that Keller’s attorney Edward B. MacMahon Jr. had received “publicly available” evidence in the case and that the discovery material, which consists primarily of video, would be handed over after a protection order was agreed and approved.

Estimating the amount of discovery material is difficult, Edwards said, as the investigation is ongoing.

When asked by the judge, Edwards replied that he did not believe the government had the blue US Olympic jacket that Keller wore during the January 6 riot. The distinctive jacket with “USA” in large white letters was key to the public identification of Keller after a journalist videotaped him in the chaos in the Capitol rotunda.

“I would think that would be pretty important evidence,” said Leon.

MacMahon said he didn’t know if Keller kept the jacket, but told the court that his client’s identification was not a problem based on his height of 6 feet 6 and the jacket that made him stand out in videos of the riot.

Federal agents raided Keller’s house on January 14, the same day the FBI arrested him, but the warrant and return remain sealed. The matter was not discussed on Tuesday.

Keller’s next hearing is scheduled for April 6th.

– Los Angeles times

Biden’s name is omitted from stimulus testing to expedite delivery

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden’s name will not be included in the next round of stimulus checks to expedite distribution to Americans, the White House said Tuesday.

“We are doing everything in our power to expedite payments, not delay them. Therefore, the president’s name will not appear on the note line of this round of stimulus checks,” said Jen Psaki, White House press secretary, Tuesday. “The checks will be signed by a career officer with the Bureau of Fiscal Service.”

Democrats criticized the addition of former President Donald Trump’s name to an earlier round of coronavirus stimulus checks, saying the move politicized payments and slowed their distribution.

However, a Trump finance spokesman said the change did not delay checks, noting that stimulus payments were sent out faster than payments made during the 2008 stimulus plan.

Most of the estimated 160 million Americans scheduled to receive payments under the bill that the House of Representatives will approve Wednesday will not receive any paper checks at all. For most, money is distributed by direct deposit to bank accounts that are used to pay taxes or receive refunds.

Individuals earning up to $ 75,000 or couples earning up to $ 150,000 and their children or adult dependents are eligible for $ 1,400 payments under the bill.

– Bloomberg News

Missouri House passes bill to allow guns on public transport

JEFFERSON CITY, MO. – Missouri House on Monday finally approved a proposal to allow Missourians to carry weapons on public transport.

The Legislation, sponsored by Rep. Adam Schnelting, R-St. Charles allows undercover bearers to put firearms on publicly funded transportation systems. The proposal would not apply to Amtrak trains.

The law was passed with 124-32 votes.

Schnelting said the legislation helps protect the rights of the second amendment and enables self-defense.

– St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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